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Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Power Rankings: No. 28 Oakland Raiders

By Paul Gutierrez

A weekly examination of the Raiders' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 29 | Last Week: 26 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

There is no truth to the rumor that the Raiders’ bye week was favored over the Raiders ... even if Oakland fell two spots in our weekly Power Rankings without playing a game. Such is life for a team that could just as easily be 4-2 or even 5-1 rather than 2-4 and preparing to play host to a Pittsburgh Steelers team that has seemingly righted itself with two straight victories.

This much is true, though: Oakland has not won its first game coming out of a bye since 2002, when the Raiders pummeled Tennessee 52-25 en route to the Super Bowl. Since then? The Raiders have gone 0-10 and lost by an average score of 27-14 in post-bye regular-season games.

Talk about your hangovers. Who comes close to such futility? Per Elias Sports Bureau, the Seahawks are 3-7, while the Bengals, 49ers and Rams are all 3-6-1 in that same time frame coming off a bye.

The Raiders are also hinging many hopes on the health of their offensive line, especially centers Stefen Wisniewski and Andre Gurode and right tackle Tony Pashos. Looking for a positive? Pittsburgh has not won in Oakland since 1995 -- the Steelers lost in the East Bay in 2006 and 2012.